Category 1, Distant Encounters
Preliminary Rating: 5
Classification of Distant Encounter is usually
an incident involving an object more than 500
feet from the witness. At night it is
classified as a "nocturnal light" (NL) and
during the day as a "daylight disc" (DD). The
size of the object or the viewing conditions
may render the object in greater detail but
yet not qualify the sighting as a Close
Encounter which is an object within
October 23, 1950; Oak Ridge, Tennessee
4:30 PM, Francis Miller, an Oak Ridge laboratory employee, while driving along a road in Oak Ridge saw an object that appeared to be less than half a mile away and between 1,000 and 2,000 feet up. It appeared as an "aluminum flash" that was traveling in a south-southeast direction. He only saw it for a few seconds. Subsequently it was discovered that a nuclear radiation detection station (a Geiger counter) in the vicinity of the sighting registered a burst of alpha and beta radiation. The purpose of this station was to detect any leaks of radiation from the Oak Ridge Laboratory. There was no leakage of radiation, however. An expert from the Health and Research Division analyzed the readings from the Geiger counter and pronounced them unexplained. This association between radiation detection and a UFO sighting was similar to that at Mt. Palomar mentioned in Chapter 13. Whether the reading of the Geiger counter was actually a result of nuclear radiations or whether the presence of the UFO induced a transient electrical fault in the counter or whether there was some other explanation is not known. This case does not appear in the Project Blue Book file.
This one isn't listed anywhere; Blue Book Unknowns, Sparks' updated list, Hatch's *U* Database with nuclear connection. But the witness told the Clinton Courier-News said he saw an object generally referred to as "the flying saucer". This article was quoted in a 2 November 1950 FBI document. Sighting was not verified by radar, the document (page 2) says.